Tip #140: When going through a stressful time, take it day by day.
The Why: Sometimes life moves along like a boat on a tranquil, glassy, smooth ocean. Other times life moves like a Victorian-era rollercoaster that’s also swept up in a hurricane and possibly is on fire.
More and more we lead ‘busy’ lives; meetings, e-mails, social commitments, familial responsibilities, working, starting a business, taking care of ourselves and our mental health.
Sometimes it can be far too much.
The more jam-packed our lives, the more anxious we become. Looking ahead to a week that appears to be non-stop can make us exhausted before we’ve even hit Monday. But there is a way to enforce some calm into all of the rush and hecticness.
Take it day by day.
If you can see a time ahead that seems so busy that it makes you need to grab a paper bag to hyperventilate it, stop looking at the time ahead.
Instead, look at each day as an individual day. Think about what you have to do tomorrow, then when tomorrow is over, think about what you have to do the next day, and then when the next day is over, think about what you have to do the day after.
Breaking your week down into individual, smaller chunks makes it all seem more manageable. You can get through a day. If you can get through a day, you can get through another day, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and then finally the week will be over.
Think about each day in isolation from the others. So, instead of saying “This week I have to do a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o and p” you’ll be able to say “Today I have to do a, b and c.” This will have the effect of not only making you more focused and thus more able to get productive work done, but will also calm you.
This is vital as although some stress can be good for productivity, if we are too stressed or anxious our mind reaches its cognitive limitations and prevents us from thinking straight. Also, if you have a million and one things on the mind, it means that your brain is looking too far ahead to what’s next, rather than concentrating on the task at hand, meaning even less will get done! A cluttered mind is not conducive to a productive day.
So, take everything day by day. One bad or stressful few hours will not turn into a bad or stressful week. A whole night separates each from each, and you can wake up with a fresh start, ready to take on the world again.